Tuesday, June 14, 2016

New Mexico XI

I am told that the New Mexico motto, "Land of enchantment" is derived from the awesome beauty of the Las Cruces area. driving down from Santa Fe, this claim would be very hard to dispute.

The memorial here is a multi-war memorial in that it honors all from the area regardless of what war or time in which they fought.

It sits in a large park like area that is clearly still under construction. I read very recently that a chopper has been added to the Vietnam portion of the site and I hope to get back in the not too distant future to re take some photos.

Sections of the large circular wall are marked for the various encounters and as is often the case, the term of the war is interpreted slightly differently. I do not know why this particular one has it beginning in February of 1961, but usually that indicated when the first casualty from the area occurred.

An attempt to tell our story, to try to explain, is not uncommon, either. They are all a little different, I guess, perhaps unintentionally, exposing the beliefs and biases of the writers. If you read any number of them, you recognize that we are still struggling to find the truth. I once told a reader not to be too hard on her teachers because they were not comfortable talking about 'Nam. I told her that it may take several generations to finally come to some kind of agreement about what happened, and that we may never actually get it right.

One of the the things I have run across occasionally is an attempt to blame the whole thing on Kennedy. Revisionist history at its worst. We may never really know what Kennedy might have done, one way or the other, but here are a few demonstrable facts.

President Eisenhower sent the first American soldiers into Vietnam in 1954.

The first American solder was killed in 1956.

When J.F.K. took office, there were between 18,000 and 22,000 American troops in Vietnam, depending on whether you count support troops in bordering countries. 

So, this is exactly my point, the discussion, the arguments, etc., will go on and on until some agreement is come to about "what to leave in and what to leave out" as Bob Segar might say. Seeking and finding the truth is a long and perilous journey.

Finally, I don't usually include other wars on this site, but while I walked around this large and magnificent setting, I came across the following. It gave me pause. 'Nam vets have long spoken about being forgotten, ignored, and disrespected but I had not known that some of our brothers from other wars shared some of these feelings. So, I include this, with respect,

This might be an appropriate spot to remind you that if you click on a picture it will enlarge for easier viewing.

The Veterans Memorial Park can be found at 2651 Roadrunner Parkway

Next time, on the 19th, I will be presenting pictures and stories about these memorials at LZ Maryland at the state fair grounds in Timonium, so if you are in the area, stop by booth 108 in the Exhibition Building and say hello. I will be there all day Saturday and Sunday until 3pm. There will many other amazing things to see and do, so join us, if you can. If you can't check back here for a post from New York, as always at 9:00am.

To see other memorials from New Mexico, or any other state, click the state name on then left side of this page.

1 comment:

  1. A beauty of a piece (peace). I don't blame Kennedy...or anyone else.Time only goes forward.